Cleveland (92.3 the Fan) – Trevor Bauer believes he has executed well in six of his seven starts in 2017. While that may be up for debate, what is not is the fact that his two best have come against the Twins.
Bauer got one more out and surrendered one less run on Sunday than he did in his first win of the season against Minnesota on April 20, but the right-hander was efficient in round two, with seven strikeouts and no walks.
Overall, the starter was happy with the performance, but said he just looked angry because of how things ended.
“I thought I pitched pretty well,” Bauer said. “I probably pitched better than the line said, again. Gave up that friggin’ homer in the seventh, which pissed me off on a pitch he hasn’t had a single hit on since the start of 2016, so it’s just frustrating.”
He tossed a three-hit shutout through five innings, before allowing three consecutive base hits in the 6th, culminated by a two-RBI double from Kennys Vargas. Bauer surrendered a leadoff home run to Jorge Polanco in the 7th, and that was all.
As Bauer walked off the mound, Manager Terry Francona looked to reassure his starter of how well he threw.
“I thought he pitched really well,” Francona said. “I thought he pitched better than he did. He had no walks and seven strikeouts. A lot more strikes than balls today. I thought he was really good.”
The last time Bauer did not walk a batter in a start was July 8, 2015.
The numbers still aren’t pretty, and Bauer acknowledges that fact, but he says regression to the mean will be on his side at some point.
“I know the results will match my stuff at some point,” he said. “I can’t keep having the home run per fly ball rate that is absurdly high right now, and that’s how most of my runs are being scored right now. My (batting average on balls in play) is really high as well. Those aren’t sustainable for an entire year, so at some point, that’s going to turn around and I’m going to start getting the benefit of the doubt. But right now, those things are definitely against me.”
For the record, Bauer’s HR/FB sits at 20.5 percent, and his BABIP is .350, both much higher than his career averages.
Master v. Pupil
Bauer found success last season when Chris Gimenez was brought back to the organization, eventually pairing up the catcher as the righty’s personal backstop for part of the year.
Gimenez returned to Progressive Field as an opponent of Bauer on Sunday, striking out both times they faced each other, once swinging, once looking.
The veteran catcher did not lay down despite the end result, as he saw 11 pitches between the two at-bats.